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Background. Over thirty years of equality legislation in the European Union combination of hard and soft approaches to promote gender equality Gender Equality widely accepted as socially important goal but also viewed as… not necessarily in line with economic goals a constraint or a cost

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Background
Background

  • Over thirty years of equality legislation in the European Union

    • combination of hard and soft approaches to promote gender equality

  • Gender Equality widely accepted as socially important goal but also viewed as…

    • not necessarily in line with economic goals

    • a constraint or a cost

    • a societal choice or preference

  • Need to recognise the costs of non-equality and the positive economic contribution of gender equality


An economic case
An Economic Case

  • Gender Equality can be viewed as an investment

    • a productive factor that can be leveraged

    • exploit full productive potential of the labour force

  • An ‘Economic Case’ develops the ‘Business Case’

    • encompassing all organisations

    • economic merits at a national or regional level

  • Sharing the investment in, and the benefits of, Gender Equality

  • An economic case as a complement rather than replacement to the moral case


Gender equality and growth
Gender Equality and Growth

  • Women make the difference when we focus on employment rates

  • Productive use of women’s investment in education and human capital

    • Utilisation of all human capital investments

    • Access to full range of skills - address shortages

    • Returns on personal investment in human capital

  • Gender equality as contributor to GDP

    • closing gap with competitor nations and regions

    • higher productivity through avoidance of skill loss


Gender equality for sustainable populations and states
Gender Equality for Sustainable Populations and States

  • Sustainable regions

    • sustainable populationsthrough the positive relationship between female employment and fertility

    • address rising dependency ratios and ageing populations

  • Integration of informal work

    • recognising the value of unpaid and informal work

    • positive contribution of tax and social contributions

    • modern fiscal systems that avoid perverse thresholds for job creation and/or household disincentives

  • Integration into employment more than covers investment in social infrastructure



Looking forward with the economic case
Looking Forward with the Economic Case

  • Gender equality can be viewed as …

    • an investment and not a cost

    • a productive factor not a constraint

  • Investment in social infrastructure

    • to reap rewards of investment in human capital

    • akin to investment in physical infrastructure

  • These benefits of equality expandwhen we move beyond GDP as a measure of progress

    • quality of life, well being, child poverty, etc.

  • Gender equality central to economic development and sustainability


One step forward one step back
One step forward, one step back?

Factors Leveraging Equality Benefits

Macro

policies to expand access to employment

gender-based Targets

gender mainstreaming obligations

Meso

organisational innovations (WLB, retention)

progress in organisation hierarchies

Micro

Improved education attainment

more continuous participation

shorter and fewer career breaks

Factors Limiting Equality Benefits

Macro

lack of gender mainstreaming economic policy

short-term crisis responses

public sector cuts

Meso

segregation occupations

women’s concentration in low-paid work

Micro

unequal division of care and unpaid work

limited support for carers

Gender equality Benefits


A time to underline the economic case
A time to underline the economic case

  • Progress under threat…

    • Exit Strategies from the recession risk a reduced focus on gender equality goals and thus economic benefits

    • Risk of trying to turn back the clock on gender equality

    • Long-term challenges remain for European societies

  • Making the case

    • Importance of gender mainstreaming policies

    • Promoting coherent social and economic policy

    • Drawing on the potential contribution from the whole population


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